To be eligible following 10 years residence, you must have
- Complied with the terms of each of your visas over the 10 year period being relied on.
- Lived continuously and lawfully in the UK.
- Spent no more than 180 days out with the UK at one time.
- Spent no more than 540 days out with the UK in total.Passed the Life in the UK test and demonstrated knowledge of English.
Meeting the eligibility requirements
It is vital that an applicant checks that they are eligible before applying. Common issues that arise include:
- Excess absences from the UK.
- Having overstayed the length of a previous visa.
- Offences and convictions, including road traffic offences.
- Time spent in the UK as an EEA national.
- Not quite having reached 10 years stay in the UK.
Depending on your individual circumstances, it may be possible to apply for settlement if you face the above scenarios or similar uncertainties. For example, depending on your circumstances, there can be provision to apply for settlement within the 28 day period before reaching 10 years stay in the UK.
What this points to is the need to plan when dealing with immigration matters. Better to keep the ever changing requirements under review during the long residence period than be faced with unwelcome news at the end of that period. We recommend that those in such a position health check their immigration situation on a regular basis to ensure they are best placed to make an application as soon as they can do so.